Amaranth

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Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus Celosia.

Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamentals. A traditional food plant in Africa, amaranth has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.[1]

The word comes from the Greek ἀμάραντος[2] (amarantos), "unfading" or "never-fading (flower)".

Contents

Systematics

Amaranthus shows a wide variety of morphological diversity among and even within certain species. Although the family (Amaranthaceae) is distinctive, the genus has few distinguishing characters among the 70 species included.[3] This complicates taxonomy and Amaranthus has generally been considered among systematists as a “difficult” genus.[4]

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